Mint Theater Company to Present SUMMER STOCK STREAMING FESTIVAL
Mint Theater Company Producing Artistic Director Jonathan Bank today announced the Summer Stock Streaming Festival, featuring archival recordings of three past productions. All three productions will be available from July 5th through July 19th from the Mint website: MintTheater.org. This festival of Mint works includes a domestic drama from America (The Fatal Weakness by George Kelly, directed by Jesse Marchese); high-brow silliness from England (The New Morality by Harold Chapin, directed by Jonathan Bank); and a suspenseful comedy featuring an all-female cast from Ireland (Women Without Men by Hazel Ellis, directed by Jenn Thompson).Mint has been investing in creating professionally shot and edited full length archival videos since 2013. These videos are shot during live performances with three high-definition cameras, and edited to create a broadcast quality, intimate and enjoyable experience of Mint programming. "We're putting 30 actors and stage managers from three different productions back on payroll, providing critical employment for our valued artists while offering our beloved audience an opportunity to catch performances you might have missed or to revisit old favorites," said Jonathan Bank. "We will be back producing plays at Theatre Row sometime in 2021, but in the meantime, we're happy to share these past productions, while providing a lift to out-of-work actors." The Fatal Weakness tells the story of society woman Ollie Espenshade, who, after 28 years of marriage is still an incurable romantic (her fatal weakness). Perhaps discovering that her husband is a lying cheat will cure her? "A smart, polished not-quite-comedy about the high price of adultery whose upper-crust characters are unlikable and whose moral-if you care to call it that-is uncomfortable. Though no one mentions World War II, not even in passing, Mr. Kelly was surely out to show how it triggered a convulsion in American mores, which gives the laughter an astringent sting... As usual at the Mint, the acting and staging are smoothly impeccable...Vicki R. Davis's sitting-room set looks like the kind of thing you'd see on Broadway if Broadway still did plays like this," proclaimed The Wall Street Journal. Set aboard a houseboat on a fashionable reach of the Thames in 1911, The New Morality tells the story of how the brazen Betty Jones restores dignity to her household and harmony to her marriage, by losing her temper and making a scene. "The script combines a jigger or two of Harley Granville Barker, a measure of Shaw, a dash of Wilde and stirs as needed... The writing is charming and finely observed...The direction, by the Mint's artistic director, Jonathan Bank, is appealing and apposite. The acting is adept, with particularly impressive turns by Brenda Meaney as Betty and Ned Noyes as the husband of her putative rival," declared The New York Times. A workplace drama laced with biting humor, Hazel Ellis's Women Without Men is set in the teacher's lounge of a private girls boarding school in Ireland in the 1930's. Jean Wade is an enthusiastic young teacher new to the school, where she soon finds herself popular with the students and at odds with her quarrelsome colleagues-especially the antagonistic Miss Connor. When Miss Connor's life's work-a history of "beautiful acts" through the ages-is found torn to shreds, Jean is the most likely suspect. With the evidence mounting against her and animosity in the air, will Jean fight for her career, or will she be beaten by the pettiness and jealousy that thrives in the school's cloistered environment? Mint's production received five Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Revival, Best Director (Jenn Thompson) and Outstanding Supporting Actress (Kellie Overbey). "How does the Mint do it? Only a couple of years after it resurrected the work of the forgotten Irish playwright Teresa Deevy, the company presents Women Without Men, by Hazel Ellis, a contemporary of Deevy's, also seemingly lost to history. And, once again, we have to ask: Who is Hazel Ellis? Why did we not know her? Why has this information been kept from us? This production shows the Mint doing what it does best: finding long-lost works that remain remarkably stage worthy today," said Lighting & Sound America. "Thank heaven for the unwavering commitment of Jonathan Bank, the theatrical archaeologist whose Mint Theater Company unearths long-forgotten plays and imbues them with new life," declared The New York Times in response to a recent Mint production. Terry Teachout writing about Mint's production of Conflict in The Wall Street Journal said "I've reviewed 13 Mint productions since 2005, each one a gem-but it's still worth saying yet again that no New York-based theater company has a better batting average. The invisible hero of Conflict is, of course, Jonathan Bank, the Mint's producing artistic director. It's a wonder how he manages to track down so many plays that both deserve and richly re-pay a second hearing. Mr. Bank is one of a handful of theater artists in America whose name is an absolute guarantee of quality, and Conflict is further proof of his perfect taste."